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Week #16 Update: Christiansted Underground Project Phase II Work resumes Monday on Company Street

(Sunday, February 24, 2013)

The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority

NEWS RELEASE

Contact:  Cassandra Dunn, Director of Corporate Communications

340-773-2250 extension 4085 or 340-690-5758

www.viwapa.vi


Work on the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority’s Christiansted Underground Project Phase II resumes Monday, February 25 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Company Street between Queen Cross and King Cross Streets. J. Benton Construction will be trenching and laying electrical conduits. 

Motorists are urged to travel along the Christiansted Bypass as often as possible to conveniently enter and exit the town and east end areas.  Please closely observe all signage as it is helpful in identifying detours and roads closed to vehicular traffic.  Flaggers will be present for informational purposes and to facilitate foot traffic.  All sidewalks in Christiansted town remain open for safe access to stores, restaurants and business offices. 

To date, work has been completed on Strand, King, Church and lower Company Streets.   The Phase II Underground Project is expected to be completed by next month. WAPA thanks the public for its continuing understanding while the utility works to improve service reliability in the Christiansted town area.

 

The Authority will continue to update the public of construction schedules as work progresses from street to street. Alerts are available from vialert.gov, viwapa.vi and on the Authority’s Facebook page. For inquiries about the project, email communications@viwapa.vi or call (340) 773-2250 ext. 4085 or 2050, or (340) 690-5758.

The Christiansted Underground project is a critical component of WAPA’s larger underground mitigation plan for the Virgin Islands. Upon project completion, there will be significant increase in service reliability in the town area. Undergrounding will also reduce the destruction and lengthy restoration process of Christiansted’s electrical distribution system in the event of a hurricane or other major event.

WAPA thanks the public for its understanding while the utility works to improve service reliability in the Christiansted town area.

               

Background Information.

The installation of underground ducts and electrical cables in Christiansted will be accomplished in three phases. Phase I, completed in 2010, serves as the backbone for future projects to remove the aerial system in Christiansted. Phase II includes underground line installation on Strand, King, and Company Streets, and Phase III will include Queen, Hill, East and Fisher Streets in Christiansted town. The phase II portion of the project, which is funded by several federal grants and requires a 75/25 percent cost share between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and WAPA, has a total price tag of approximately $2 million. WAPA’s 25% of the cost share is funded by customer payments into the Self-Insurance and Hazard Mitigation Fund. This was established in 1994 to help minimize the potential impact of natural disasters on the electrical system and to initiate immediate restoration of the system should there be a delay or absence of federal funds during disaster restoration. The customer surcharge was eliminated in February 2006 when the fund reached its approved limit of $8 million. WAPA currently has undergrounding projects in Market Square, St. Thomas and from Estate Richmond to the proposed Midland Substation in Estate Spanish Town, St. Croix. On St. Thomas and St. Croix, underground lines already serve customers from the power plants to the hospitals and the airports.

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